Late mistakes hurt Towson vs. Albany

Kick, foul haunt Tigers in 14-10 loss to Danes

College Football

September 02, 2001|By Adam S. Reisinger | Adam S. Reisinger,SUN STAFF

ALBANY, N.Y. - Towson's revamped defense held Albany in check for much of the game, but two critical special teams mistakes left the Tigers with a 14-10 loss yesterday in front of 2,026 at University Field.

Late in the fourth quarter, after Towson had scored its only touchdown of the game, the Tigers' kicker, Ben Whitacre, attempted a squib kick, but the ball bounced out of bounds at the Albany 35, forcing him to re-kick.

On the second kick, Albany's Ryan MacLean returned the ball to his 46, but the Tigers were flagged for a personal foul, giving the Great Danes possession on the Towson 39. Four plays later, Chris Phillis caught a 16-yard pass from Justin Kozlowski for the decisive score.

"On the personal foul, the official told me our guy pushed their guy in the back after the whistle blew," Towson head coach Gordy Combs said. "It gave them the ball in a good spot."

The winning score came just 50 seconds after sophomore Jay Amer, playing in his first collegiate game, threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Mike Starke to give Towson its first lead since late in the second quarter.

Amer, who replaced an ineffective Val Troiani in the third period, was 14-for-29 for 253 yards and a touchdown, but he threw a pair of drive-killing interceptions and also lost an exchange from center.

"I'm disappointed in myself," Amer said. "I'm kind of a perfectionist and we missed out on some chances because of my mistakes. We could have [scored] 20 or 30 if we didn't turn it over."

All three of Amer's turnovers came in Albany territory, including one midway through the fourth quarter with the Tigers inside the Great Danes' 30.

Despite Albany's extra chances, it only managed 212 yards of total offense - including just 76 through the air - against a Tigers defense that has nine new starters.

"They did a lot of good things," Combs said of his defense, "I'm not at all concerned with that side of the ball."

What undoubtedly concerns him is the quarterback position, which seemed set coming into the season, but is now up in the air after Troiani's 10-for-24, 86-yard day. Combs was unsure who would get the start in next week's home opener against Lafayette.

"I'm not sure how to answer that right now," he said. "We'll have to look at video, then decide."

Towson 0 3 0 7 - 10

Albany 0 7 0 7 - 14

Second quarter Tow-FG Kulic 27, 3:37 Alb-Manigault 16 run (Bagstad kick), 0:08 Fourth quarter Tow-Starke 17 pass from Amer (Kulic kick), 2:30 Alb-Phillis 16 pass from Kozlowski (Bagstad kick), 1:40

Tow Alb

First downs 23 8

Rushing 35-119 47-136

Passing 339 76

Comp-Att-Int 24-54-3 9-18-0

Fumble returns-yards 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-yards 2-6 4-48

Kickoff Returns-yards 1-17 3-83

Interception Returns-yards 0-0 3-9

Punts-Avg. 8-33.4 12-36.0

Fumbles-lost 3-3 2-1

Penalties-Yards 8-62 7-63

Time of Possession 28:51 31:09

Rushing-Towson: Read 28-119, Dandy 1-3, Troiani 1-(minus 1), Amer 5-(minus 2). Albany: Manigault 19-81, Rotondi 15-30, Wilson 7-10, Gill 3-10, George 2-5, Phillis 1-0. Passing-Towson: Amer 29-14-2-253, Troiani 24-10-1-86. Albany: Rotondi 13-7-0-30, Kozlowski 4-2-0-46, Phillis 1-0-0-0. Receiving-Towson: Starke 6-81, Mattera 5-78, Galloway 5-76, B. White 3-41, Read 3-34, Dandy 1-19, Romeo 1-10. Albany -- Phillis 3-53, McFarlane 3-21, Garrick 1-9, Wilson 1-(minus 3), George 1-(minus 4).

Next for Towson

Opponent: Lafayette

Site: Minnegan Stadium

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 0-0

Yesterday: Idle

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